The holiday season is one of the busiest shopping and catering seasons of the year, with organizations like Target often bringing on more than 100,000 temporary workers to meet increased demands. While temp workers are a fact of life for any industry affected by holiday peak periods, they can greatly complicate staff management, scheduling, training, and management.
While your organization needs a concrete plan to schedule, list, and push information to new employees, digital signage can be a valuable tool to help with distribution.
Digital signage is quickly becoming a valuable tool in management and work floor management across industries ranging from food service to manufacturing because it offers managers an easy way to visually guide employees and minimize training and investment.
Digital Rosters and Schedules
Digital rostering and scheduling offers several advantages for organizations, because you can update schedules in real-time. This means individuals can simply walk in, glance at a schedule and see exactly where they need to be and what they have to do. For example, if someone calls in sick or is late, schedules can automatically update to reflect changes to avoid miscommunication.
Digital rosters and schedules become more convenient when linked to rostering and scheduling programs. Here, you can integrate touch-screen solutions so employees can interact with schedules to see notes, shift-changeover information, updates, and the ability to interact with managers. For example, if you can allow individuals to immediately sign in and request shift changes through a single kiosk, you can save managers and employees valuable time.
Dynamic Safety and Training Videos
Training is one of the largest costs associated with temporary holiday workers, simply because it’s impossible to conveniently invest into a large amount of training for someone who will leave the company in a matter of weeks. This results in temp workers who often perform poorly, submit substandard work, and who waste time being lost or unsure of what to do.
Implementing digital signage can help you to combat these issues by delivering dynamic safety, information, and training directly to the work floor. This can include screens that are connected to local machines which trigger safety videos when employees use machines the wrong way.
It can also include solutions like simply regularly pushing training videos, allowing employees to request specific videos before performing actions, or to scroll through best practices. These displays aren’t suitable for customer-facing areas, but work well in break rooms, work floors, and back rooms.
Resource management is an important but difficult aspect of managing temp workers, simply because you have more new employees and likely no additional managers.
Real-time assignment allows you to use automation and tools to dynamically assign people, trucks, and equipment to jobs based on availability and suitability.
While this requires that you have the software in place to manage this, it allows you to hand out work assignments as individuals become available.
For example, DHL uses this technology to dynamically assign trucks to workloads based on the order they come in. Trucks are registered using a sensor and automation assigns a loading platform to that truck based on capacity and available routes. As a result, DHL speeds up their warehouse, reduces bottlenecking, and reduces idle trucks.
Dynamic assignation can apply in numerous industries ranging from service industry (assign rooms to clean, deliveries, etc.) to package and parcel delivery, to meal preparation, to services. Most importantly, it ensures employees are always actively informed of what to do, reducing idle and waste time.
Equipment management is always more problematic when you bring on temporary workers who are less aware of how to use it safely or well, less aware of protocol, and less able to utilize existing systems. Digital signage interfaces and kiosks offer easier equipment management where individuals can see at a glance what’s available, where it is, and what its status is.
Here, you can update equipment to reflect status (needs servicing, just serviced, ready for delivery, etc.), update to reflect location, and allow employees to leave notes when they check something back in.
While equipment isn’t used in every industry, tools, scanners, carts, projectors, manufacturing equipment, delivery vehicles, and more all function very well with resource management.
Real-Time Visual Communication
Communicating with employees in real time is cost-saving and highly convenient, even for regular employees. Over the holiday period, it allows you to push last-minute communication, to distribute information as factors change, and to keep employees updated on factors ranging from weather to supply.
Connecting digital signage to inventory management allows employees to see at-a-glance if something is in stock or not. Management can effortlessly push updates, motivational messaging or contests, or other messaging. And, in situations where employees need more information such as for new reservations with requirements, digital signage can be used to ensure employees have everything ready.
Digital signage offers a relatively affordable way to push messaging to employees in ways that motivate, inform, and organize workers. This is valuable throughout the year, but especially so for the holiday period when most workers are temporary, don’t have enough training to perform well and where management is likely struggling.